Pics from today's Spanish Wine Show in Cork....post to follow..click on image to enlarge
Top:Claire Lemasney (Gilbeys); Mark McCloskey (Greenlea); Stephen Morrissey (Barry & Fitzwilliam), Paul Kiernan and Billy Forrester (Bubble Bros).
Bottom: Antonio Lorente & Rafael Salazar (Vinos Tito); Joe Karwig and Billy Lyons; Bren Smith (Mackenway) and Marcus Gates (Karwig).


“Wines from Spain: Changing Ways 2011” was the name of the big Spanish wine show that was held in the Imperial Hotel (Cork) yesterday. El Gordo (The Big One) is associated with the Spanish lottery but there was no gamble in
sampling the splendid wines on show on the South Mall.

Time constraints unfortunately prevented me from getting to every single table and that was my loss. But it was great to see old friends and make a few new ones as I made my way around the room. It was a pleasure from start (Cava at Bubble Brothers) to the finish (PX at Greenlea).

Approach Ireland had a very impressive, very well laid out stand, little info cards in front of each bottle and more detailed info from the staff. Well known wine-maker Telmo Rodriguez was represented here by BASDA 2010 DO Rueda, a beautiful blend of Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc and Viura.

Martin Codax has, I was told, done more to make the reputation of the Albarino grape than most, and he had a stunner here: a DO Rias Baixas 2010, an aromatic and complex wine that has just about everything and is available “nationwide” with an RRP of €14.50. It was perhaps the best Albarino at the show.

Bubble Brothers, with Paul Kieran and Billy Forrester on duty, had a very good Albarino by Agro de Bazan, the Contrapunto 2010. But their strength, I thought, was in the reds. Edulis Crianza Tempranillo 2007 was good. The Carramimbre Crianza 2006 stepped it up a notch and the star, for me, was the Mas de Bazan Reserva 2006, a multi grape DO Utiel-Requena.

A very helpful pair, Antonio and Rafa, manned the Vinostito www.vinostito.com stand and this was another very impressive display of quality and quantity. Really liked the Caprichio 2010, a DO Bierzo by Bodegas Gancedo made from Godello and Dona Blanca.

When I came back to sample the reds, I requested a couple of “young and fruity” and boy did I get them. Thought the 100% Tempranillo Acon Joven 2009 (DO Ribera del Duero) and produced by Abadia de Acon was excellent.

But even that was topped by the Artuke Maceracion Carbonica 2010 (DOCa Rioja). This blend of Temp and Graciano is a star at the price (€12.00) and is available from independent off licences.

Then another big stand where I met Bren Smith of Mackenway and Marcus Gates of Karwig, two very helpful and informative guys who know their wines. Lots of lovely whites here at all prices but it was a couple of reds that I found outstanding.

These award winners come from Fincas Museum winery in the Cigales DO and are made from Tempranillo. The museum Crianza 2008 (€14.49) is excellent but the 2005 Museum Real Reserva (€19.95) is a notch up again having spent more time (24 months) in French oak, a very velvety drink, the red star of the show as far as I am concerned. Both are available at Karwig and at many other outlets nationwide.

Despite the rushing around, I did have time for a chat or two. Nice to meet up with regular Stephen Morrissey of Barry Fitzwilliam as I enjoyed their Raimat Abadia Blanco 2006. Great also to meet up again with Claire Lemasney of Gilbeys and taste the excellent Faustinos (Rioja) especially that Faustino I 1999.

Next door to Claire was Mark McCloskey from Greenlea Wines. Renewed acquaintance with him, enjoyed his well priced Camparron Crianza Tinto de Toro 2009 and finished off by sipping some of that delicious PX.

Time to go time then, only sorry I couldn't have stayed longer! Here’s hoping this El Gordo comes back next year!